Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes shallow breathing while you are sleeping. It can also cause you to stop breathing while you sleep. What many people don’t realize is that your Saginaw dentist Jennifer Schau can offer help in treating sleep apnea since it is often related to oral health.
What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?
Sometimes people are unaware that they are waking up during the night. There are other more apparent signs of this sleep disorder, including:
- Waking up with a headache.
- Experiencing excessive sleepiness throughout the day. This may feel like you never quite catch up on your sleep even if you go to bed and sleep for what seems like a reasonable time.
- Excessive snoring or feeling like you are choking during sleep.
- Waking up trying to catch your breath. This is a major sign of dental sleep apnea and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
- Irritability, impaired emotional and mental functioning, and major mood swings are three symptoms that can be caused by getting too little sleep. This occurs because you wake up several times throughout the night.
What are signs a Saginaw dental professional might link to sleep apnea?
A dentist may be able to tell you suffer from a sleep disorder during a routine dental exam. They may recognize one or more of these as signs of a sleep disorder:
- Bruxism (Tooth Grinding): Your dentist can tell if you grind your teeth in your sleep because the surfaces of the teeth wear down and your gums may recede. Both of these are signs of nighttime tooth grinding. When you grind your teeth at night, clenching them signals your brain to wake up.
- Cavities: In some cases, a noticeable increase in cavities along with other symptoms can indicate you suffer from a sleep disorder.
- Sore Mouth, Dry Throat: If you wake up with a dry mouth or throat, or a sore throat, you may be snoring at night without realizing it. Snoring often accompanies sleep apnea.
A Sleep Apnea Diagnosis from Your Dentist in Saginaw, MI
A dentist can often diagnose sleep apnea during a routine exam or after discussing symptoms with you. Dr. Jennifer Schau can recommend treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea diagnosis. Dentists can also check your jaw, tongue, and airway for signs of the disorder. Special x-ray technology such as the 3D dental cone beam x-ray for a deeper look to help diagnose a sleeping disorder. If a diagnosis is confirmed, then your Saginaw dentist will move forward with a plan for sleep apnea treatment.
Dental Treatment Options
Dentists often treat mild to moderate sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Most people find an oral appliance to be more comfortable than a CPAP mask. An oral appliance is worn while sleeping. The mouth guard helps support the jaw to help alleviate snoring and teeth grinding. The design of most oral appliances helps move the lower jaw forward to help keep the upper airway open while you are asleep.
Your Saginaw dentist will customize an oral appliance by taking an impression of your teeth. Once the impression is made, a dental lab will make the device. The dentist will make sure it fits well before you wear it.
Contact Dr. Jennifer Schau
If you suspect you are suffering from sleep apnea, please contact Saginaw dentist, Dr. Jennifer Schau for a dental examination. Effective treatment can begin at your dental office.